PhD and MSc positions in conservation planning and cumulative impacts

The Integrated Forest Decisions Lab at the University of Northern British Columbia is now seeking two PhD students and two MSc students to undertake theses in the areas of:

1)         Conservation planning. Research in this theme seeks to test existing approaches and develop novel methods for systematic conservation planning in temperate and northern ecosystems.

2)         Cumulative impacts. Research in this theme seeks to elucidate the ecological responses of species and ecosystems to cumulative environmental impacts.

These are general themes, and students will have the latitude to refine their projects based on their interests.

Ideal students will have a strong quantitative background, a passion for biodiversity conservation and ecological sustainability, and a desire to work as part of a team in a collaborative setting. In addition to a background in the ecological sciences, valuable skills for this work are: programming, statistics and R, working with big data, high level GIS experience. Students will receive a living and tuition stipend and access to departmental scholarships.

Expressions of interest should be made by September 30th for a January 2018 start and by October 30th for a May or September 2018 start.

Contact Oscar Venter at oscar.venter at unbc dot ca to discuss further.

Postdoc opportunity in macro ecology

The Integrated Forest Decisions Lab seeks a postdoctoral fellow for a NASA funded project mapping change in global forest integrity over time, and linking this change to biodiversity trends.

The project team involves investigators from University of Northern British Columbia (Oscar Venter), NASA (Cindy Schmidt), the United Nations Development Program (Jamison Ervin), Wildlife Conservation Society (James Watson), Montana State University (Andrew Hansen), University of Maryland (Matthew Hansen) and Arizona State University (Scott Goetz and Patrick Jantz). The results of this project will inform the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans in 6 partner countries (Columbia, Indonesia, Brazil, DRC, Vietnam, Ecuador).

The postdoc will join the IFD lab for two years, contributing to the project by updating the global human footprint map (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/human-footprint-map-ecological-impact/) with the latest datasets, as well as investigate empirical links between biodiversity trends and measures of the Human Footprint and forest integrity. Opportunities will be available for independent projects on related topics, as well as supervising graduate students with overlapping interests.

Ideal candidates will have a passion for biodiversity conservation and a desire to contribute to real world conservation outcomes, as well as enjoy working as part of a team in a collaborative setting. In addition to a background in the ecological sciences, the successful candidate will have some combination of skills in: programming, statistics and R, working with big data, high level GIS.

Position details: Salary is $55K CND/year, term is 2 years, based in Prince George BC, Canada.

To apply, email a cover letter, CV, and contact details for three references in  a single pdf file to Dr. Oscar Venter at oscar.venter@ unbc. ca. For questions, contact  Dr Venter.

Review of applications will begin 30 September 2017, and will continue until the position is filled.

News coverage for our Human Footprint paper

In July we released the first set of temporally inter-comparable global human footprint maps for all the world’s land areas. The maps paint a pretty bleak picture about the extent of human modification of natural habitats, especially in places with high concentrations of endangered species.

The paper has been getting a good run through the media, with 73 news articles, including coverage from The Guardian, National Geographic, Huffington Post.

PhD opportunity in urban forest ecosystem services

Dr. Oscar Venter and the Integrated Forest Decisions (IFD) Laboratory at the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George are now inviting applications for a fully funded PhD position starting in 2017 to work on the ecosystem services provided by urban forests.

Urban forests provide crucial opportunities for people living in cities to experience nature on a daily basis, and receive the benefits from these natural environments, including air and water purification, climate mitigation, noise reduction and recreation. It is at the wildland urban interface that these ecosystem services are most important. Two graduate students are sought to undertake thesis work to quantify and map ecosystem services from urban forest in Prince George, BC. It is anticipated that students will undertake projects to enhance our understanding of how urban forests provide benefits to people at local and global scales, and how these benefits are valued by urban residents.

Located in north-central British Columbia, Prince George is proudly known as the ‘city in nature’, largely because of its extensive and varied forests. These forests, and the greater region, provide a wide range of recreational amenities including skiing, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Northern and central British Columbia offers an unparalleled natural environment in which to live and work. UNBC is one of Canada’s best small universities and was ranked #1 by the 2015 Maclean’s survey. We are also Canada’s Green University TM (voted #1 for environmental commitment in the Globe and Mail survey). We are leading the way to a more sustainable future through our passion for discovery, people, the environment and the North.
Prospective graduate students will be expected to develop their own research goals, and should have curiosity, motivation, and independence. Students should also be interested in coupling field surveys with remote sensing, GIS, and modeling. Students could have a background in ecology, geography, environmental science or ecological economics. Students with a strong quantitative background (remote sensing, GIS, statistics, modelling) are especially encouraged to apply.

Full funding is available, but students will be expected to apply for additional funding. Prospective students will apply to the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies program (http://www.unbc.ca/nres-graduate-program.

Prospective students should email a short summary of their research interests as well as a CV to Dr. Venter (Oscar dot Venter at UNBC dot ca) before applying to the program.

MSc opportunity in urban forest ecosystem services

Dr. Oscar Venter and the Integrated Forest Decisions (IFD) Laboratory at the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George are now inviting applications for fully funded Masters and PhD positions starting in 2017. Students will undertake thesis projects on the ecosystem services provided by urban forests.

Urban forests provide crucial opportunities for people living in cities to experience nature on a daily basis, and receive the benefits from these natural environments, including air and water purification, climate mitigation, noise reduction and recreation. It is at the wildland urban interface that these ecosystem services are most important. Two graduate students are sought to undertake thesis work to quantify and map ecosystem services from urban forest in Prince George, BC. It is anticipated that students will undertake projects to enhance our understanding of how urban forests provide benefits to people at local and global scales, and how these benefits are valued by urban residents.

Located in north-central British Columbia, Prince George is proudly known as the ‘city in nature’, largely because of its extensive and varied forests. These forests, and the greater region, provide a wide range of recreational amenities including skiing, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Northern and central British Columbia offers an unparalleled natural environment in which to live and work. UNBC is one of Canada’s best small universities and was ranked #1 by the 2015 Maclean’s survey. We are also Canada’s Green University TM (voted #1 for environmental commitment in the Globe and Mail survey). We are leading the way to a more sustainable future through our passion for discovery, people, the environment and the North.

Prospective graduate students will be expected to develop their own research goals, and should have curiosity, motivation, and independence. Students should also be interested in coupling field surveys with remote sensing, GIS, and modeling. Students could have a background in ecology, geography, environmental science or ecological economics. Students with a strong quantitative background (remote sensing, GIS, statistics, modelling) are especially encouraged to apply.

Full funding is available, but students will be expected to apply for additional funding. Prospective students will apply to the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies program (http://www.unbc.ca/nres-graduate-program.

Prospective students should email a short summary of their research interests as well as a CV to Dr. Venter (Oscar dot Venter at UNBC dot ca) before applying to the program.

Post-doc opportunity in the Integrated Forest Decisions Lab

We’re currently looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with a passion for forest conservation and management, an interest in exploring themes in cumulative threat mapping and conservation and development planning. We envisage the fellow working on these issues in the Boreal forest or elsewhere in British Columbia, though we’re open to exploring the unique interests of candidates. The position is part of a collaboration between the IFD lab at the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Queensland, and the fellow will be expected to move between the two locations. The remuneration package will be in the range $79,170 – $84,985 p.a. plus employer superannuation contributions of up to 17% (total package will be in the range $92,629 – $99,433 p.a.).

Applications close May 1st 2016. Apply by May 1st 2016

Graduate Student opportunity

We currently have funding available for one graduate student (MSc or PhD) to join the IFD lab. We’re open to exploring the research ideas of passionate students. The ideal candidate will have strong quantitative skills, an interest in forest management issues in BC or the Boreal and experience publishing peer-reviewed papers.

Paid summer research assistant

The position:

We are looking for a motivated research assistant to help compile data for a meta-analysis of the literature exploring the carbon implications of silviculture practices. The job is desk-based, and entails reviewing scientific articles in detail to extract data on carbon sequestration findings. It is anticipated that the data collected will form the basis for a peer-reviewed journal article, on which the RA will be offered co-authorship or the opportunity to first author. The ideal candidate will be a 3rd year forestry student looking for research experience with the potential to later have it roll into an honours project, or a student looking to build on past research experience and secure a peer-reviewed publication.

Background:

There is increasing interest in protecting forests from timber extraction as a means of avoiding emissions and increasing forest carbon stores.  Yet recent analyses have shown that timber extraction can actually lead to greater carbon sequestration overall, when carbon stored in timber products and the displacement of carbon intensive materials such as cement are factored in. While there has been a good amount of work in this area, there still isn’t a clear picture under what conditions forestry outperforms forest protection as a means of sequestering carbon and mitigating climate change. A timely opportunity exists to survey the available literature to extract data on the relative carbon implications for forestry.
Salary:           $5850 for 30 hrs per week over 13 weeks ($15 per hr)

To apply:      Applications close April 30th 2016.

Contact:

Associate Professor Che Elkin (che dot elkin at unbc dot ca)

Associate Professor Oscar Venter (oscar dot venter at unbc dot ca)